Saffioti-Hughes Remembers Anna Maria Williams

Published: April 30, 2015

When I came to UW-Parkside in 1975, there were fewer than six tenured women at the university and Dr. Williams was one of them. She was an early supporter and informal mentor to me, especially as she learned that I had a love of science equal to her passion about writing and literacy.

Her concern was universal but especially strong as it affected her beloved pre-med students. She often referred them to me for informal tutoring, steered them my way into Advanced Composition, and offered excellent advice as I put together the first Scientific and Technical Writing course at UW-Parkside. 

She added a letter of support to my tenure case which was significant, coming from an entirely different division other than the then Humanities Division.

The close ties between the pre-med students, nursing students, and myself, with her encouragement and that of Alma Renish, left me some of my fondest remembrances of students in and out of the classroom. We even developed some joint internships for students that Anna Maria approved and sometimes jointly supervised with me.  

Her input was invaluable as we created the first "Young Women in Science Day" via the Women's Studies Program, and the current event is its direct successor.

I shared with her my thoughts about my own career path. When  I told her I had thoughts of becoming an EMT, she said, "oh yes, you can do that even if you are teaching." I said "no Anna Maria, you might but not I."  

In retirement from the university, and now a volunteer EMT, just as her other students I owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for her confidence in me. This she gave from her heart and soul. The "Little Dynamo" with twinkling eyes, who sometimes slept in her lab, is someone who has changed more lives than we could ever fully know.

Carol Lee Saffioti-Hughes
Associate Professor Emerita

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